Visiting Tirana you will be deeped inside its colorful Ottoman, Fascist and Soviet era architecture. Pastel buildings surround the city and walking around its street is a fantastic experience. If you would like to know how to plan an amazing weekend in Tirana keep reading and use this post to organize your weekend in the albanian capital!
How to plan a fantastic weekend in Tirana
In my opinion, three days to see Tirana can be enough. A hotel in the downtown and a pair of comfortable shoes will allow you to visit the city easily! let’s see what could be useful to know before you go to Tirana:
From the airport to the old town?
The airport is about 20 km from the city and by car it takes about 25 minutes tu reach the oldtown. The way is confortable and in the taxi could be a good chance. The cost is around 20 euro.
Should you rent a car?
If you will visit only Tirana I don’t think you need a car but if your idea is to have a trip along Albania use this form to rent your car:
How use your phone in Albania?
When you travel outside your home country to another EU country, you don’t have to pay any additional charges to use your mobile phone. This is known as “roaming” or “roam like at home”. Your calls, text messages and data use are charged at domestic rates. Since Albania is not EU country this rule is not applied so, if you want use your phone it is very useful to buy a local sim card and use it in a different device that will be your router!
Is Tirana a safe place?
Yes, I walked around the oldtown during the day and the night and I never felt in a dangerous place.
Where to stay in Tirana?
Fortress of Justinian or simply known as Tirana Castle is a castle in Tirana. Its history dates back before 1300 and is a remnant from the Byzantine-era. In my opinion if you find an accomodation around this area will be perfect! I chose Sar’Otel Boutique Hotel and I strongly feel to advice to you this place to stay.
The hotel is really nice, cleaned and in a perfect position to visit the city. The district is plenty of restaurants and places to visit. If you will arrive by car the very kind owner will provide a very confortable parking just near the downstairs area where breakfast is served! A fantastic a gazebo on the ground floor awaits you for your aperitifs!
If you would like to have a look to different hotel in the same area:
What to see in Tirana
With its 40.000 square meters, Skanderbeg Square is the main square in Tirana. From here you can start your walk around the oldtown.
Your eyes will inevitably be enraptured by the beauty of this Mosque not far from the main square. Sadly immediately behind this beauty you will see modern mansions under construction spoiling the landscape.
Bunk’art 2 is located right in the centre of Tirana, just 30 seconds walk from Skenderbeg Square. Based inside a real communist era bunker, it tells the story of this period of Albania with several details that you will not forget.
The area around and inside the Castel is really nice to walk and spending your time relaxing. A lot of bar and restaurant and very nice people to meet!
If you need a break and you want eat something here I suggest Tartuf Shop. I really liked to have lunch in this small restaurant where you can taste truffle!
Where to have dinner in Tirana
As an Italian abroad I must say that in Tirana it is not difficult to have pleasant surprises in the culinary field. Perhaps because many Albanian people, as I was told, worked in Italian restaurants in the past and then imported the know-how into Albania. In any case, the local cuisine is also particularly tasty.
The perfect synthesis of what I told you above. Book this restaurant and give it a try. You will not be disappointed!
How could I not try this restaurant given the name? A good Italian restaurant but not excellent. Must try if you are nostalgic for Italian dishes which are cooked very well. The wine list is very varied
Let’s move to a truly remarkable local restaurant! Really very good cuisine, kind and fast staff and local wines to taste! A must to book without a doubt!
A place with a truly remarkable location and above all well attended. Unfortunately, the value for money did not impress me. It’s worth it for a top-notch dinner!
On the other hand, this place has a great value for money. I can’t describe it well: outdoor tables, a strong Italian influence, live music like a 70’s piano bar. I would repeat a dinner here. One of those dinners without too many pretensions but still in a relaxed environment and without spending too much! Recommended.
I hope this post can be useful even if I am aware that it takes more time to visit a city and above all there will be many places that I haven’t seen either! I hope to come back to Tirana soon and update this post with lots of useful information! Have a good trip!
Just a drink
In “the block” district you will find lots of cute little places where you can have a drink but don’t miss Radio Bar Tirana!